Caretaker manager Tommy Wright suffered his first defeat in charge of the Spireites after his side succumbed to a disappointing 2-0 defeat at the hands of Morecambe on a miserable Tuesday evening in Lancashire, as his side's nine game unbeaten run came to a shuddering halt.
Gary McDonald fired the hosts in front on the stroke of half time, rifling home Richard Brodie's far post cross to give The Shrimps the lead against the run of play and just seven minutes into the second half Jim Bentley's side doubled their advantage courtesy of Lewis Alessandra's side-footed volley to end their own five-game winless streak and ensure Chesterfield remain without a victory on their travels this season.
With the Spireites forced to play three games inside a week, caretaker manager Wright plumped for just the solitary change from the one that was held to a 1-1 draw with Martin Ling's Torquay on Saturday. 36-year-old Jack Lester predictably made way, with former Oldham man Danny Whitaker employed on the left and Drew Talbot shuffling forward up front alongside Craig Westcarr.
Richard O'Donnell retained his place in goal behind a familiar back four of Terrell Forbes, Neal Trotman, skipper Sam Hird and Huddersfield loanee Liam Ridehalgh, while Sam Togwell and Chris Atkinson provided the platform in front of defence for Saturday's goalscorer Tendayi Darikwa and the returning Whitaker to spark the visitors' attack from out wide. It was a typically dreary autumnal evening beside the seaside, with rain pouring from the Lancashire sky and Town kicked off proceedings once again in their shimmering gold away strip.
The Shrimps had picked up just five points from a possible 24 after their impressive 3-0 win against Exeter City on the opening day at St. James' Park and they began tentatively on a slippery surface after having lost their previous three games, with Westcarr unable to connect sufficiently after Togwell's centre had found him in the box. The former Notts County man was impressive against the Gulls last time out and he threatened again after elegantly controlling Darikwa's pass on the quarter-hour, before delivering a sublime cross that Trotman could only angle wide from close range.
The 27-year-old whipped another dangerous ball in midway through the opening period, which left Hird needing treatment after he collided with Morecambe goalkeeper Barry Roche. Buoyed by the unusual chime of 'Zombie Nation' from the brass band behind the goal, the hosts applied a smattering of pressure and Lewis Alessandra flashed an effort narrowly wide after he had been slipped through by Andrew Fleming following Talbot's harmless effort.
Stewart Drummond then met Fleming's low corner following a routine straight off the training ground, but his shot failed to trouble O'Donnell and instead, flew into orbit around the Globe. Westcarr caught Shrimps skipper Nick Fenton in possession narrowly before the break, but his effort was parried by Roche and with the first half drifting towards a close, the Spireites were caught cold by McDonald who met Brodie's deep cross with a well executed volley.
Wright opted against making any changes at the break, instead putting faith in the same eleven to dig themselves out of trouble but it was Spireites stopper O'Donnell that was called into action first, getting down well to clutch Fleming's drive. It was a warning that the Scotsman's side did not heed, however, and just seven minutes after the restart they were facing an almost impossible task when 23-year-old striker Alessandra ghosted in unmarked at the far post to side-foot home Brodie's dangerous cross.
The Dunfermline-born caretaker then made a double change on the hour-mark, introducing on-loan Blackburn winger Micah Evans at the expense of Whitaker and throwing on Mark Allott in place of Atkinson, but it was Alessandra once again causing havoc as he drilled into the side netting. Jack Redshaw was then allowed space to turn in the 69th minute, but he could only miscue with his weaker foot when off balance and with 12 minutes remaining Wright turned to the old charm Lester in place of the ineffective Westcarr.
With the home side in complete command, Morecambe & Wise's famous 'Bring Me Sunshine' was now echoing around the Globe Arena and former Spireite Jordan Burrow was introduced in place of Redshaw before O'Donnell thwarted Brodie, who had been of constant menace to the Chesterfield back-line all evening. And in spite of four additional minutes, the visitors failed to conjure up a miraculous route into the game and made the long trip back to Derbyshire empty handed.
Morecambe (4-3-3) - Roche; Wright, Fenton (c ), McCready, Threlfall (Haining 59); Drummond, Fleming, McDonald; Redshaw (Burrow 82), Alessandra, Brodie.
Unused Subs - Arestidou, Reid, McGee, Mwasile, Short.
Bookings - Burrow (90)
Goals - McDonald (45) Alessandra (52)
Chesterfield (4-4-2) - O'Donnell; Forbes, Trotman, Hird (c ), Ridehalgh; Darikwa, Atkinson (Allott 61), Togwell, Whitaker (Evans 61); Talbot, Westcarr (Lester 78).
Unused Subs - Wilson, Clay, Boden, Hazel.
Bookings - Forbes (68)
Referee - Mr. A Haines